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Family conflict and its connection to underage drinking

A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs examined what causes adolescent (ages 12 to 14) to drink. The study followed 886 boys and girls from ages 12 to 14. The study found that family conflict is a strong factor associated with early drinking habits. This post will go through some of these findings and how they may relate to your family.

The authors are quick to point out that family conflict at age 12 did not predict heavy drinking at age 14. Instead, family conflict was predictive of another leading cause of adolescent drinking ? depression. Depression is predictive of heavy drinking at an early age. The connection between family conflict, depression and alcohol were significant for both boys and girls, but it was especially pronounced in the girls.

The researchers offer no conclusions on why girls are more susceptible to family conflict-driven depression but offer several hypotheses. Boys tend to react to family conflict with aggression rather than inward depression. Girls tend to internalize conflicts and bear personal responsibility. But these are merely educated guesses; the study did not examine the differences that may explain the discrepancy.

If your child was arrested for underage drinking, then you may want to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, your child might avoid more significant consequences like jail time or a severe fine. But don't take it for granted that the court will go easy because he or she is a child. A lawyer can ensure that you present a vigorous legal defense to maximize your child's chances.

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